| High Court Issues Rule Nisi seeking Explanation on Provision on Marital History of Women in Kabin-Nama
High Court Issues Rule Nisi seeking Explanation on Provision on Marital History of Women in Kabin-Nama
On 14 September, 2014 the High Court (HC) issued a rule asking several government authorities to explain why the entry no. 5 in Forms No. 1600 and 1601 (kabin-nama) should not be declared to be without lawful authority and of no legal effect being discriminatory against women on the grounds of sex, in violation of Articles 28, 31 and 32 of the Constitution.
The impugned forms require only the bride to make a statement as to her marital status, specifically stating whether she is virgin /widowed/divorced. (??????/ ?????/?????????????)
The respondents to the writ were Secretary, Ministry of Public Administration, Secretary, Ministry of Religion Affairs, Deputy Director, Bangladesh Forms and Publications Office and Director General, Department of Printing and Publications.
A Division Bench, comprising of Justice Naima Haider and Justice Md. Jahangir Hossain passed the order upon hearing a writ petition filed in the public interest by the Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST), Naripokkho and Bangladesh Mahila Parishad.
The Court asked the respondents to explain in four weeks why they should not be directed to amend the kabin-nama by omitting the use of the word “??????” in respect of brides and to ensure the information in the kabib-nama regarding marital status of grooms as well.
he Court also asked the Government to give explanation as to why they should not be directed to impose a mandatory requirement for both the bride and groom to affix their respective photos to these forms, at the time of registration of marriage.
The petitioners’ lawyer submitted that the provision contained in entry No. 5 in the said Forms is in conflict with the Constitutional rights of citizens, in particular, the prohibition on discrimination on grounds of sex, and the right to be treated in accordance with law, as guaranteed under Articles 27, 28, 31 and 32 of the Constitution.
Advocate Aynunnahar Siddiqa conducted the hearing for the petitioners. Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua, Barrister Md. Akmal Hossain and Advocate Mehbuba Jui assisted her. Deputy Attorney General Mokhlesur Rahman appeared for the State.